I had something of an epiphany this morning after reading a piece about the model Liza Golden-Bhojwani who traded in her tiny figure and restrictive diet for beauty and wellness. I found reading the piece about her, that I could relate. Not that I’ve ever been a succesful runway model (at 5ft 5.5 i’m far too short) but her struggles to stay slim through what can only be termed a starvation diet …… yes, that is familiar.
Up until my early thirties I lived on fresh air and a lot of exercise to maintain a 33-23-36 figure and weighing in at 7 stone 10 llbs. I know this isn’t exactly teeny-tiny in the world of the size zero model but it was very small for me and totally wrong for my build. I was hungry all the time, prone to fainting, my moods were erratic and despite being the smallest I could be I had absolutely no self confidence. Somewhere in my thirties -I can’t remember when- other things became more important and were eminently more fulfilling like my family, friends and academic career; naturally with this loosening on the reins my weight rose and flutuated between 9 – 10 st 4 llbs and I was completely ok with that.
Last year my weight rose sharply due to an underlying health condition,from both an aesthetic and health perspective I was alarmed. I had gone up a size and my BMI had been pushed from the healthy range to overweight. My health problems coincided with those of a friend’s, who was advised by her Doctor to lose weight. My friend started following the Slimming World plan and was soon looking svelte, slinky and glowing with health. Her journey really inspired me, so I followed her lead and started following Slimmimg World too.
My weight losses have been erratic but I have managed to notch up a 7llb loss, which I am simulataneously pleased and disappointed with. 7llbs off is 7llbs off at the end of the day, so yay! However I’ve noticed recently that the obssession I had, had in my younger days was starting to creep back in and the losses weren’t high or regular enough for me. I started to restrict my diet again and I stopped losing weight altogether. A couple of days ago I decided I would keep a tally of my calories to see just how many I was consuming each day. I was astonished to discover it was around 900. A woman of my height and age needs to consume 1200 calories per day to lose 1llb of weight per week -no wonder I have been struggling with my energy levels and weight loss!
I’m in no way disparaging the Slimming World plan, from all the things i’ve seen on various Facebook groups dedicated to the plan I can see it gives amazing results and has been life changing for thousands upon thousands of women, my friend included., but it doesn’t work so well for me and here is why. First of all i’m a gluten intolerant Vegan, i’m hypothyroid, I don’t eat a lot of processed foods everything I can’t or chose not to eat are the foundations on which the Slimming World plan is built. But most important thing to remember about diets is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution. We are all very different with different needs and for that reason Slimming World just doen’t suit me. That being said my time on plan for has been amazing in terms of teaching portion control and making good choices. These days when my resolve is low i’m definitely more inclined to reach for an apple instead of a bag of crisps. So thank you Slimming World, but it’s now time for us to part.
So, here I am back where I started at the beginning of this post with Liza Golden-Bhojwani. Before this morning i’d never heard of her; but after seeing her pictures and reading her story her my only thought was what a beautiful and vital looking woman she is. After reading the article I had look at Liza’s instagram account and was astonished to discover that -height aside- our vital statistics are very similiar and yet all I saw when I looked at her was her strength and beauty whereas I’m highly critical of myself. This realisation stopped me in my tracks. I’m starting to see myself in a totally new light.
Instead of dieting I’m going to adopt a healthy eating plan, not overeating but not being so restictive either. I’ll probably calorie count, but only to ensure I eat enough each day to give me the energy to enjoy each day to the max. This morning I was aiming for thin, this afternoon I’m aiming from strong, healthy and beautiful.